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The Spymaster's Lady

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Overview

She's braved battlefields. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She's played the worldly courtesan, the naïve virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit...

British spymaster Robert Grey must enter France and bring back the brilliant, beautiful-and dangerous-Fox Cub. His duty is to capture her and her secrets for England. When the two ...

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The Spymaster's Lady

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Overview

She's braved battlefields. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She's played the worldly courtesan, the naïve virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit...

British spymaster Robert Grey must enter France and bring back the brilliant, beautiful-and dangerous-Fox Cub. His duty is to capture her and her secrets for England. When the two natural enemies are thrown into prison, they forge an uneasy alliance to break free. But their pact is temporary and betrayal seems inevitable as the fates of nations hang in the balance.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for the novels of Joanna Bourne:

"Once in a while, during every reader's literary life, you encounter a book that reminds you why you are a reader. It renews your faith, if faith was lost; it rekindles your interest, if interest waned; and every word, every page, is a wonder.....Joanna Bourne is one of the best authors currently writing. If Ms. Bourne continues writing at such quality, she would deserve to be called one of the greatest romance authors ever. And I mean that." —All About Romance

"Books by [Joanna Bourne] are like a box of fine Laduree macaroons, not cheap junk food. They should be leisurely savored as the exquisite delicacies they are, for Bourne is a master wordsmith, able to charm, excite or break a reader’s heart with the stroke of her pen."—Dear Author

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425236215
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanna Bourne lives has always loved romance writing and history. She's lived in seven different countries, including England and France, the settings of The Spymaster's Lady. She now lives in the foothills of the Appalachians with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    This woman can write!

    Other reviewers have written about the characters and the story, so I'll address Ms. Bourne's writing, itself: the woman is a rare talent. As a published author myself, I know good technique when I read it, and that's why this story 'works.' This is intelligent writing that doesn't treat the reader like an idiot who needs to be spoon-fed every nuance and plot point. I enjoyed this book so much and was so delighted with the writing that I won't be trading my copy at the used bookstore. Rather, it has already joined the select few books, just over a dozen to date, that are my 'keeps' novels. Keep at it, Joanna we're waiting for the next one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Witty, Sexy & Fun!

    Read this book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Worst Spy Ever

    I had high hopes for this book, based on the premise and reviews, but it did not live up to them. The heroine was a constant contradiction. She supposed to have been a French super spy, which you would think would make her patriotic, deadly, brave, good at keeping and discerning secrets, and able to elude a tail, and yet she consistently managed to fail at all of these basic spy qualifications. She was constantly afraid, blabbed her entire life story to a complete stranger, and was caught by her enemies numerous times (one time she was "tricked" and unknowingly walked straight into their headquarters!). She refused to shot or kill anyone, regardless of the circumstances. It was like reading about two different people.

    As for the romance, well, it didn't make any sense either. The hero and heroine meet up, she, for reasons known only to the author, rescues him and his friend from prison, even though they are English spies and therefore no allies of hers, they then turn on her and capture her. She falls in love with the hero for absolutely no reason. They have no chemistry, he treats her ruthlessly, and yet, we are told that they love each other.

    As for the oh-so-convenient revelations near the end of the book, I was so annoyed that I almost threw the book across the room. I won't say what they were but they defied belief, especially if you have any knowledge of European history around this time.

    I gave the book two stars, and not one, simply for the attempt at originality. If the author could work at consistent characterization and building more believable twists, then I would consider giving her another try but until then, I will not be wasting my money on any future novels from her.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    So Close.....Yet Sooooo Very Far Away

    Annique Villiers has lived her entire life as a covert operative for the French government. Her long time mentor, Vauban, entrusts her with the Albion Plans, a detailed description of Napoleon's pending invasion of England. She is gifted with a photographic memory and has memorized the plans completely by heart. Eventually she is captured by another French operative, Leblanc, and is thrown into prison where she meets two English spies, Grey and Adrian. She helps them to escape and even performs makeshift surgery on Adrian who has been shot. In short, she's a total bad ass. Romance novels tend to be all about the male lead, but this book is all feminine power. Annique is dangerous, intelligent, eloquent and she could beat any man to a bloody pulp. She's thoroughly amazing. However, Grey, the male lead is much less interesting. He was gruff and uncaring and kind of a blunderer. The sexual chemistry between them fizzled and sputtered and never got me particularly interested. Actually, Annique's friendship with Adrian is much more interesting. Personally I think the story would have been greatly improved in Grey and Adrian's character's had been switched. Adrian is sleek, sexy, ruthless, but also he seems to be a genuinely nice guy. I can only hope he'll get his own story because he was by far the more arousing character when matched with Grey. I give this book two stars purely because I loved Annique's character and Adrian's character and also the story is remarkably well told. Joanna Bourne is truly and exceptional writer and I will be picking up more of her books once they become available. The Spymaster's Lady has all the potential in the world to be truly fantastic but it was dragged down by the dead weight of a dull hero. Tragic indeed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Leblanc tortures spy maestro Annique ¿The Fox Cub¿ Villiers demanding she give him the Albion plans that Vauban gave her in Bruges to take to England. Annique is the best at the espionage game especially when it comes to checkmating men so since she has no plans to die here, she must find a way out of this mess. She has outplayed every male opponent with ease and wouldn¿t be in this hell hole with the devil¿s spawn if her elderly associate was not so desperate still she expects to win every time though right now she lingers in a French prison and ponders how to escape.--------------- British spymaster Robert Grey is assigned the task of abducting the infamous Cub in order to interrogate her to learn what she really knows and who gives her orders. Thus he enters the same French prison where she is currently a resident and meets the renowned Cub. This is a case of hate at first sight in spite of an attraction. However they both conclude they need one another to escape their jail, which they do. As they flee across France they begin to fall in love, but their various enemies and some alleged allies pursue them with one thought kill the spies.------------ Although The Fox Cub seems very vulnerable and not quite the invincible professional that she allegedly is, THE SPYMASTER¿S LADY is an exhilarating historical romantic espionage thriller starring two strong adversaries needing to team up if they are to survive those wanting them dead. The story line is action-packed, but belongs to the courageous lead couple who go from distrust to dependency to love. Joanna Bourne begins her legacy with a fine tale.----------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2008

    Danger, mystique and far off places...

    Pulled me in fast and didn't let me go until I read it from cover to cover. First of all loved the thrill of the constant underlying danger and urgency of their situation. Then I loved the wit, touches of humor, depth of characters and changing rich scenery- reminds me of the romantic movie remake of Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility' or 'Pride and Prejudice'. The attention to detail in slowly introducing Annique's personality and intelligence made it very easy to understand Grey's evolution from suspicion and distrust to grudging admiration, appreciation and then love. Fighting the desire continuously for each other while on the run didn't hurt the book either!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2012

    This is the best read I've enjoyed in a very long time. This au

    This is the best read I've enjoyed in a very long time. This author is tops in her field. The action never stops and the lady is most unique and resourceful while the men are masterful, strong, handsome in a rugged sort of way, and love their women. Loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2009

    Nominated for Best Historical Romance 2009

    Bourne's prose is so lovely I have reread this book a number of times. Her spy world, her characters, and her plot are well crafted, unique and exciting. The romance is more understated than other books in the genre, but no less powerful for me. A must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    Ooo lah lah

    Oh. My. God. I just finished it and it was WONDERFUL! The French phrasing was masterful. It's been over 40 years since I studied French and was able to read French novels without translating them in my head. As I was reading Ms. Bourne's novel I found myself translating many of the phrases into the French, even after all these years. Vraiment, mais oui, peutetre, la petite dejeuner (the little meal), I can't get over how well she translated the French into English without losing the essential quality of the French phrasing. And the characters, ah the characters were so complex, it was a pity to leave them, at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    No ordinary characters . . .

    This book catches you fast with its unusual characters and situation . . . not the typical 'spy' heroine, the Fox Cub is a true professional and one of the best heroines I've ever read in a romance. The hero was also constantly offguard, though extremely capable, and the pairing of the two opponents was fascinating and exhilirating. Don't want to give away any secrets on this, but an absolute must read for its originality, its passion and its characters. Can't wait to see a follow up on this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2013

    4.5 stars! I loved the audiobook The Spymaster's Lady - narrated

    4.5 stars! I loved the audiobook The Spymaster's Lady - narrated by Kirsten Potter. Ms. Potter's interpretation absolutely makes the story. Her characterizations, her accents and her emotions make the story come alive. If you are on the fence about reading this book, I highly recommend you listen instead! I was disappointed to find that the other books in this series are not available on audiobook. However, I am sufficiently intrigued to put them on my to-read list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Read it in one sitting!

    Characters are unforgettable and plot is fast paced. I loved it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Great read

    This was my first novel by this author. I will definitely be reading more.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not Your Typical Romance...

    Redonk Nutshell: Two master spies from countries at war reluctantly team up to escape imprisonment and mixed feelings ensue amid a clash of allegiance to country or their heart

    The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne is the second book in her Spymaster series, a books set during the tense time of Napoleonic France and Regency England. I had attempted to read The Forbidden Rose a few months ago and had to put it down, only because I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it. I picked this up at Border's because I recognized the series, and I was intrigued by the premise. And, ok, the cover is purty.

    Annique Villiers, aka the Fox Cub, is a renowned French spy. When our story opens, Annique is being tortured by one of her own, and is being held with two British spies. When she refuses to give up her information to her captor, he leaves her to stew over his bodily threats. Annique and her fellow captives, Robert Greyson and Adrian Hawker, team up to escape. Upon their escape, Greyson turns around and takes Annique prisoner, hoping to take her back to England and convince her to give them her secrets. What Greyson doesn't count on are Annique's lethally graceful moves and cunning skill. It's a constant battle to keep her in his clutches. Meanwhile, while the two are battling it out, they come to realize they have quite a bit in common and are well matched in terms of intelligence and skill. They end up bonding over their differences, though Annique never relents in her quest to be free of her captors.

    She's pursued by her French enemies and shadowed by the Brits. When Annique is forced to evaluate her loyalties, she realizes she has daunting decisions to make that could forever change the course of history.

    What really makes Bourne's story wonderful is the gritty adventure. This doesn't read like your typical romance. In fact, it has a distinctive choppy feel, adapted from Annique's habit of speaking. It works. She's blunt and has no qualms speaking her mind. The real heart of the story is Annique coming to terms with the decisions presented before her: She is attracted to Greyson, which opens up a whole different can of worms for her. She holds the key to the French invasion of Britain in her head.

    This was a wonderful read. It's historically rich and darkly romantic. This is one of those romance books that manages to be romance but doesn't really feel like it. I really enjoyed it, like a breath of fresh air. I look forward to digging out my copy of The Forbidden Rose, as well as checking out the other books in the series.

    The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne, 400 pgs, 5/4/10

    Rating: B

    Romance: 2.5/5 Raunch: 2/5

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    Fantastic!

    This was a great adventure. I had so much fun reading this book. The plot was full of twists and turns. The heroine, Annique, was so cool in her spy abilities. Robert Grey was very sexy in his protectiveness of Annique. I would recommend this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I read this book TWICE because it's that good!

    I put down this book in one setting and WHAOOO!!! It's soooo good! I was hooked from page one and "Love, love, loved it!": quoted by Julia Quinn. The twist and turn of this spy story is beyond words and you just have to check it out on your own.

    ps: I saw this book a couple years ago but (again)the cover and the synopsis on the back of the book were not enticing so I didn't bother and that was my big mistake!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2009

    Almost there...

    I have a hard time connecting to "perfect" heroines and unfortunately, that is what Annique is. She's beautiful, brilliant, and the ultimate "super" spy. That gets old after awhile. Furthermore, I felt that more depth could have been put into the character of Robert Grey. I was more interested in Adrian (a secondary character) than the hero. In addition, this book needs more romance, more spark. I didn't really feel the chemistry between Annique and Robert. I gave it 4 stars because I think this book is very well written and well thought out. I like Bourne's writing style and will be on the lookout for more of her books. This particular hero and heroine just didn't do it for me...

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The cover alone.....

    I read this book becuase of a recommendation from one of my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon. Annique was the most unusual heroine ever. I wasn't sure about her romance and love of Grey, but once it happened...I loved this book. I lent it to a friend and she is enjoying it now. The cover alone would make any woman want to buy this book! Even if you never read it, looking at the cover art is worth it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2008

    A different kind of romance

    This story is not the generic romance novel that has been written over and over again. It was refreshing to read a romance novel that had so many twist and turns I never knew what was going to come next. Also Joanna Bourne dose a wonderful job at creating unique and memorable characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2008

    Wrong genre

    This is a well written thought out book. But it does not belong in the romance genre. The two lead characters were well thought out there romance and how they fell in love with each other was not. One minute Annique is Grey's prison and he has drugged her with opium after she saves his friend the next shes in love with him! It was as if you were walking on a clear and sunny day then all the sudden your hit by a lightening bolt. It made no since! The plot did keep you guessing with all its twist and turns but...this is not a romance book.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews

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